Humpback wrasse is one of the most valuable species in the lucrative reef fish trade. For coral reef ecosystems, this fish is also highly coveted. Wrasse is not priceless when it is on people`s plates – but when it is simply left alone in the clear seawater in which it lives. Given the growing concern within the scientific community about the decline of humpback wrasse populations, the status of endangered species was highlighted when it was added to the International Union of Nature Red List and its trade was regulated by the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora. While this bulletin focused on humpback wrasse the impact of the High Seas Fisheries Regulations 2014 also means that all species covered by CITES Appendices I and II are protected by Fijian law from capture or killing in Fiji`s fishing waters. Humpback wrasse has a long lifespan but has a very slow brood rate. Individuals become sexually mature at the age of five to seven and are known to live about 30 years.  They are protogynous hermaphrodites, some of whom become male around the age of 9. The factors that control the timing of sex change are not yet known.
At certain times of the year, adults migrate to the far end of the reef, forming local spawning groups.  They probably don`t travel very far for their spawning build-ups.  In order to address threats to the recovery of humpback fish in Sabah and to promote the achievement of sustainable recovery and use of the species, four key recommendations are proposed: Illegal imports, in particular of animal products and fish, may pose a threat to human and animal health, spread of invasive animal diseases and plant species, and lead to the loss of wildlife and biodiversity. Economies are weakened by the elements of tax evasion and evasion of food smuggling and forced food trade. Illegal trade reported in the EU Food and Feed Risk Assessment Database (RASFF) was highest for meat products, followed by fruit and vegetables. Targeted sampling means that the data do not reflect the actual incidence, extent and nature of illegal imports, particularly by individuals for their personal use. Global strategies to combat food smuggling and trafficking are limited. This work has transferred lessons learned from procedures to reduce contraband tobacco to illicit food-related activities. One element of a comprehensive strategy to combat illicit food trade is the development of effective legal and institutional frameworks combined with effective and transparent communication and cooperation systems. This article fills a current gap in the scientific literature on the subject. This legal bulletin is provided for general information purposes only and does not constitute legal advice and should not be relied upon as such. Humpback wrasse is a scientific name Chilinus Undulatus and Fijian name Varivoce, and is a slow-growing and exceptional fish that is highly valued in the live fish trade.
For more information on humpback wrasse please click on the WWF link or Bob Gillett`s FAO circular on humpback wrasse monitoring and management. More recently, Sabah has been the third largest exporter of wrasse after the Philippines and Indonesia . The fishery is not well documented, and historical catches are often derived from import and export data in Hong Kong, the LRFFT trade hub. There has been a significant decline in the local population in Sabah, with an IUCN estimate  suggesting a 99.91% decline since 1974. Scales et al.  also documented a 98% decrease in catches between 1995 and 2003. Only two reproducingly viable populations have been identified in Sabah ; However, recent investigations indicate that one of them has since been fished (Oakley, S, personal communication). However, Spink, Fortin, Moyer, Miao and Wu (2016) consider contraband to be a subset of food fraud. Illegal cross-border trade in dairy products (Beutlich et al., 2015), coffee (Dercon & Ayalew, 1995), meat and meat products (Europol, 2016; Beutlich et al., 2015; Falk et al., 2013; FSA 2010) Fish and Fisheries (Poh & Fanning, 2012; Pramod, Nakamura, Pitcher, & Delagran, 2014); Bushmeat and wildlife (Auliya et al., 2016; Europol, 2016; Wyler and Sheikh, 2013; Falk et al., 2013; Regueira and Bernard, 2012; Chaber, AlleboneâWebb, Lignereux, Cunningham, & Rowcliffe, 2010; Rice and Moore, 2008); and more widely used wood (Cavanagh, Vedeld, & Trædal, 2015; Schaafsma et al., 2014), drugs (Cochrane & O`Regan, 2016; Rettberg and Ortiz-Rimalo, 2016) and human organs and persons (Adhikari, 2016; Salt, 2000). By translating the definitions of human smuggling and trafficking, human smuggling can be described as meaning that all parties involved, except regulatory and law enforcement authorities, fully consent to illegal behaviour, whereas food trafficking involves coercion against one or more parties, but the fine line between human smuggling and human trafficking is sometimes unclear (Butterly, 2014, p. 46). To this end, fishing ports play an important role in controlling catches, as most of them are landed there.
It should also be noted that illegal, unreported and unregulated (IUU) fishing is a global problem affecting both inland waters and the high seas [29-31]. Given this problem, fishing ports could play a role in surveillance, control and surveillance efforts to control suspicious activities related to illegal, unreported and unregulated fishing, as IUU catches will mainly end up in ports. The humpback wrasse is the largest living member of the Labridae family. Males, usually larger than females, can reach up to 2 meters and weigh up to 180 kg, but the average length is slightly less than 1 meter. Females rarely exceed one meter. This species can be easily identified by its size, thick lips, two black lines behind the eyes and hump on the forehead of larger adults. Its color can vary from dull blue-green to brighter greens and purple blue. Adults are usually observed living individually, but are also observed in male/female pairs and in small groups.
   United States The National Marine Fisheries Service has classified humpback wrasse as a species of special concern – a species of concern but for which it does not have sufficient information to list it under the Endangered Species Act. The recovery and continued exploitation of humpback wrasse is a desirable goal of LRFFT participants and the Government of Sabah. To assess the significance of this outcome, a socio-economic assessment was conducted with two possible operating scenarios: (1) inaction and (2) effective management.